HAMBURG: More than two thirds of German internet users engage in dual-screening while watching television with around one in ten being described as "insatiable" multiscreeners according to a new survey.

For its My Screens report, media agency Initiative surveyed 1,029 internet users aged 14 to 59 who possessed the facility to use other devices while watching television. It found that 68% typically had at least one additional screen in use, most often a laptop (42%) or smartphone (36%). Among the other options, desktop PCs (21%) were ahead of tablets (13%).

A small group, amounting to 8% of the total surveyed, were multiscreeners in a big way and classed as insatiable users. They tended to be younger (aged 20 to 39) and most (85%) spent at least one fifth of their television viewing time using other screens, with the smartphone the most important of these. Around one in four also used a third screen.

They were using these parallel screens in approximately equal parts for communication, information retrieval and entertainment. One in two were gathering information on TV content and one in three discussing and posting about it.

Around one third were also looking for information about products or offers seen on TV advertising and had bought a product on that basis.

The biggest group, making up 37% of the total surveyed, were described as "selective" users, who only picked up a second screen in certain circumstances, such as during advertisements or, for example, when watching less personally relevant programmes with their children.

Even then they were more likely to communicate with family and friends than to comment on TV content.

One third of respondents were "intuitive" users who were most likely to reach for the second screen during commercials and reality TV or talent shows. And one third of these said they spent over half their viewing time on other screens, mostly for communication and information gathering. This group rarely commented on TV content.

A final group of "objectors" made up 21% of the total and preferred to focus on one medium at a time. They were typically older, aged 40 to 59, and more sceptical.

Data sourced from Initiative; additional content by Warc staff